How Does Eating Grains Affect Hunger?
Almost nothing affects your hunger like eating grains. The only possible exception is eating sugar, and even that is debatable. You don’t have to take my word for it, you can easily test this yourself.
Simple Grain/Hunger Test
For the next three days, eat eggs for breakfast. Eat enough that it’s a good size meal. I eat six eggs every morning. If you don’t like eggs, eat steak or salmon. If you’re craving something sweet, eat half of a medium grapefruit (without sugar) or an orange with your eggs/steak/salmon. See how that affects your hunger levels during the day.
After three days eating eggs, steak or salmon for breakfast, switch to eating cereal or pancakes – something heavy on grains. See how that affects your hunger levels during the day.
If you really want to take this experiment to the next level, try a 30 days experiment of not eating grains. I did this myself and can tell you that I was in completely shock after three of four days of not eating grains. I couldn’t believe how diminished my appetite was.
Why Do Grains Make Us Hungry?
Grains make us hungry because after digestion, they end up as glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. Yes – even whole grains end up as sugar in the bloodstream. As many of you know, sugar is extremely addictive.
When blood sugar levels are elevated, our organs are at risk. They get damaged by high levels of sugar. So, the body has to deal with that sugar. It does that by releasing insulin. Insulin clears out the sugar and causes it to be sent to muscle, fat, and liver cells for storage. As an interesting side effect, insulin stops the body from using fat as an energy source – a big problem if you’re trying to lose weight.
In the bodies of many people, the level of insulin that is released to lower blood sugar isn’t proportionate to the amount of sugar in the blood. In these people, their level of blood sugar is dropped too much. When this happens, the body will make you feel hungry to raise the level of sugar in the blood. This cycle is known to most people as carbohydrate addiction.
There are a lot of side affects of carbohydrate addiction:
- General feeling of hunger and dissatisfaction with any foods that aren’t grain or sugar based
- Inability to lose fat (remember that insulin prevents the body from using fat for energy)
- Elevated cortisol
- Excess belly fat
I was addicted to carbs for a LONG time and honestly didn’t realize that I had a problem. I would almost always eat whole grains and believed that they were super healthy. I didn’t understand how I could possibly stop eating them. Eventually I figured out that gluten was causing elevated cortisol in my body. Once that happened it took my choice away – I had to stop eating wheat (bread, tortillas, many desserts, cereal, pancakes, etc.). Interestingly, as soon as I did that my body got a lot leaner and my energy levels evened out. It started to become a lot easier to control my appetite.
Effects Of Grains On The Body
Unfortunately for you grain lovers, they are one of the biggest offenders on my list of foods that make us fat. Some of you will have the genetics to overcome this, but most of you won’t. I personally can eat significantly more calories without gaining weight if I ditch the grains. A while back I wrote an article on increasing your caloric intake without gaining weight. I did this personally with great results but honestly, it’s impossible if you’re eating grains.
Grains inhibit your ability to burn fat. It’s really that simple. I could lay down a bunch of scientific mumbo jumbo but I would rather you just tried it for yourselves. It made all the difference in the world for me and I bet it would make a huge difference for you.
One thing is certain, getting grains out of your diet will REALLY reduce the amount of hunger you feel. That will change your body.
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